Happy church anniversary, as we look back at Nov. 12 1989 and our first Mass in our church. Now it is 21,000 liturgies later here. Here we are. Think about it. The Lord is pleased in each single Mass we have held here and we have had so many lifted up to the Lord and celebrated of His Presence in Christ here.
Look at the Spirituality Page for a little review of those 34 years in church.
One of the newest apostles in the USA church, our own Bishop Evelio Menjivar (ADW), comes here to lead the 10:30 Mass of jubiliation. Our various music ministers will provide a variety of liturgical song with it.
I ponder today’s Mass even as I ponder the power of each Mass of Holy Mother Church.
Each liturgy of the memorial of our Lord Jesus Christ honors His dying-rising mystery for humankind and our salvation. It uniquely is our Catholic Holy Mass which He gave Himself to us for entering into communion with Him. Let us be glad in the Gift!
The Holy Mass celebrates the amazing self-emptying of Our Lord, in which I think the second chapter of Paul to the Philippians does describe so stirringly. Read that chapter this week in your prayer time and give thanks to The Lord that we know and can take part in the self-emptying with Jesus. St. Paul in this “kenosis” teaching uses it to calls us to respond passionately back to the Lord, in a life of our own self-giving in His Name.
We have a saint-partner to help us in this calling–Mary. Even at the Cross of His own surrender, Jesus gave His mother Mary to the Church, to spur us on to imitate The Way of The Lord. Mary lived the model of the greatest surrender to the Lord Jesus ever by a human person.
Mary had to be emptied of all notions of self-aggrandizement so that she could be filled up with the grace of the Holy Spirit. Mary’s self-emptying is patterned after the perfect model of the Lord Christ Jesus, the New Adam. He, the new Adam, gave from His side to her (as the new Eve, born of Him) the pattern for whole living, as we hear her say to God’s messenger and God’s plan for her: “Let it be done unto me according to thy word.”
Here we are, the Church, under our mother Mary, serving the Lord.
Our Masses direct us to serve our lives to the glory of God, while the world has its own daily celebration to sinful pride. They starkly are in dichotomy; polar opposites. Maybe more dramatic than that. How about “as light to dark?” Yes.
We choose Whom we serve: It is the Lord. Joshua 24:15 has it said well. It is our motto.
St. Peter updated it of the New Covenant in Christ Jesus, saying that now “we are partakers of the divine nature” via our life in the Living Savior now. Marvelous!
Remind yourself in this anniversary of your identity: I belong to the Lord Jesus and live in His Spirit.
Mary lived this life and inspires us to do so. We live open to the Spirit of God to lead our lives in inspiration.
One way to call this vocation in baptism is to “dwell by the inquiry.” It is to not pretend to have all the answers of life in self-reliance to be open to God in a daily discernment. It is a willingness to trust God for your life and to embrace the Mystery of how God works through the peaks and valleys and middles of our lives.
Mary’s self-emptying creates space for Christ to enter. It is a mystery in the Marian prayer life. Let her show us a way she can help us learn the same mystery.
The Pauline kenosis, too, tells us that we encounter the Lord by a welcome openness to Him, even in obedience and love for God’s ways to be found. The human life was always meant to be lived in a cooperation with God; it is our design. Yet if we won’t surrender and learn the ways of brokenness to healing (as our retreat leader on Nov. 11th, Brian Pusateri, is teaching this weekend), then we have much-a-ways to go. St. Paul’s words in Philippians 2 give us a plan for self-emptying, and the mystery of the Holy Mass in our lives is so much a part of the saving work God needs to do in us. “If you do not eat of the flesh of the Son of Man, they you have no life in you.” This John chapter 6 verse needs much study by any doubter of God’s work in the Sacred Liturgy. Study the importance of that verse, in light of our anniversary, and your pledge to keep as a vital part of this parish now and ahead.
Jesus is truly with us; we need Him this way. We come hungry for His feeding us of His salvation and holiness.